For several years, I’ve been following the work, the thinking, and the writing of a man named Patrick Skinner. Skinner served in the Coast Guard, then worked for the CIA in counter-terrorism, and then moved back to his hometown of Savannah, Georgia, to become a police officer.
Detective Skinner talks about the people he sees every day in his job as his neighbors. He asks, “If I didn’t have a badge or a gun, how would I handle this?” He believes that we have to behave as though all our neighbors matter, because they do. He knows, deeply and personally, that the system he works within is deeply flawed.
This week, Patrick Skinner wrote the linked piece for the Washington Post. I am really hoping that it won’t be paywalled, so everyone can read it.
Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the piece:
I was also worried that we would view the verdict as the conclusion of a trial and not the beginning of change. Because as powerful as the murder conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin is, what we do next — as a country in general but as police in particular — will go a long way in determining whether systemic positive police reform is possible. It is in this time immediately after the verdict that several things, which are entirely within my control as a police officer, have to happen.
I hope you can read the whole thing. If you can’t, email me, and I’ll cut and paste it for you!